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The Incomparable Soporific Doctor

James Thomson 1700 (Port Glasgow) – 1748 (London)

Sweet, sleeky Doctor! dear pacific soul!
Lay at the beef, and suck the vital bowl!
Still let the involving smoke around thee fly,
And broad-looked dulness settle in thine eye.
Ah! soft in down these dainty limbs repose,
And in the very lap of slumber doze;
But chiefly on the lazy day of grace,
Call forth the lambent glories of thy face;
If aught the thoughts of dinner can prevail,
And sure the Sunday's dinner cannot fail,
To the thin church in sleepy pomp proceed,
And lean on the lethargic book thy head;
Those eyes wipe often with the hallowed lawn,
Profoundly nod, immeasurably yawn;
Slow let the prayers by thy meek lips be sung,
Nor let thy thoughts be distanced by thy tongue;
If e'er the lingerers are within a call,
Or if on prayers thou deign'st to think at all.
Yet - only yet - the swimming head we bend;
But when serene, the pulpit you ascend,
Through every joint a gentle horror creeps,
And round you the consenting audience sleeps.
So when an ass with sluggish front appears,
The horses start, and prick their quivering ears;
But soon as ere the sage is heard to bray,
The fields all thunder, and they bound away.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:03 min read

James Thomson

James Thomson, who wrote under the pseudonym Bysshe Vanolis, was a Scottish Victorian-era poet famous primarily for the long poem The City of Dreadful Night, an expression of bleak pessimism in a dehumanized, uncaring urban environment. more…

All James Thomson poems | James Thomson Books

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